I want to write this post to give Jesus thanks and honour for his faithfulness and goodness. He still speaks and he still heals. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. The things we read about him doing in the gospels are the same things he longs to do today through his people if they will obey the promptings of his Spirit.
Recently I have taken my first few baby-steps in the word of knowledge. This is a gift of the Spirit where God reveals a piece of information (knowledge) about a person or situation. Good examples of this gift would be where Jesus says to Nathaniel that he saw him under the tree, or when he tells the Samarian woman about her marital history. In both cases a little piece of knowledge has a dramatic impact.
Now, I had tried to move in this gift before. I remember a prayer meeting where I got a strong impression that the name "Tom" was significant. I shared it, but as far as I'm aware, to this day, there was no significance. No one had a friend or colleague called Tom; no one met a Tom; no Tom turned up to our meetings; nothing. I guess I got it wrong!
So you can imagine my reluctance when during a Sunday-morning meeting I got the same kind of impression about someone who had pain in their joints. I thought, I've had this kind of impression before and it was wrong, so it's likely to be wrong again. So I did nothing. However as the meeting went on, the preacher was talking about how God wanted to heal. He spoke about Peter and John who had no money to offer, but had something better to give, and Jesus brought a complete healing to the beggar through their obedience. At this point I felt a nudge in my spirit; I had forgotten my cheque book that morning, so had not been able to give my normal offering - so silver or gold I did not have, but I did have something, and as unsure about it as I was, I knew I needed to share it.
So sure enough, the preacher gave a call forward for those who were sick to be prayed for, and I knew that was the moment. As soon as I stepped forward to bring the word I felt a confidence that I had not felt before. [Isn't that often the way? I believe the hardest part of moving in a gift of the Spirit is the decision to get out of your chair!] What's more, I got more information. It was a pain the the elbows and wrists and the person who had it had had it for a long time and just got used to it. I believed that God wanted to confirm the word of the preacher by bringing a complete healing.
So I shared this word and joined the preacher and some others in praying for those who came forward. As I came to one man, a visitor that Sunday, I asked him what I could pray for. He said that since I had shared his joints felt like they were on fire, and that he had had a long standing condition in his elbows and wrists that gave him a low level of pain that he had just got used to. I was astonished and thrilled! I prayed for him, and straight away he said that the symptoms had cleared. This man has a manual job, so he said the real test would be when he went back to work. He came back again the next Sunday, and his first words to me were: "I'm healed!"
Thank you, Jesus! It was all of him and nothing of me. He used me despite my doubts and reluctance and brought relief from suffering to one of his precious children.
I have two other examples that I want to give thanks for, but I'll share them in separate posts.